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Children and Students on Bikes

BikeBR – A Community Bikeability Tool

BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN SAFETY This document is in PDF format.  Download the free viewer from | NEIGHBORHOOD BICYCLE SURVEY


Limit children riding bicycles to minor streets or on well-defined bicycle facilities with good separation from motorized traffic. Below are a few safety tips for kids on bikes.

Sidewalks are for pedestrians so if you are riding on them remember to, GIVE WALKERS A BREAK! When you are riding near people walking, don’t surprise them. Slow down and say, “Excuse me!” or, use a bell or horn.

Always look, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT before an alley, driveway, corner, or intersection. If it is not easy to see, slow down or stop first.

Always ride in the same direction as the cars are going. Never ride against traffic.

Ride in a straight line. If you do, drivers will know where you are going.

If a friend bikes across the street before you, do not think that it is safe for you to go too. Slow down or stop, and look LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT.

When you ride a bike, be aware of what goes on around you. LOOK BACK before riding around a pot hole or sewer grate, passing a parked car, turning or moving to a different side of the street.

Practice how to scan while riding along a straight line in an empty parking lot. Learn how to do it without wobbling your bike!

Young Children (toddlers and preschoolers)

Head Out Safely
Wearing a bike helmet is the most important way for your child to stay safe on a play vehicle, tricycle, or bike. A helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent when worn correctly. Toddler helmets are lightweight, because a toddler's neck is not strong enough for a regular helmet. Also, these helmets come down low around the back of the head for more coverage. Choose a helmet that meets current safety standards. Look for a CPSC1, ASTM2, ANSI3, or Snell4 sticker inside the helmet. Insist that your child wear a helmet whenever she rides. If your child's preschool uses tricycles, work with the school to make helmets available. Urge the school to have a policy requiring helmet use.

The Right Fit
Make sure the helmet covers the upper part of the forehead and sits level on the head.

Use the foam pads inside to fit the helmet snugly so it doesn't slip around.

Adjust the chin strap tightly enough so the helmet pulls down when the child opens his mouth.

Get Them Into The Habit
Start children wearing helmets with their first tricycles or play vehicles. When children begin helmet use early, they are more likely to keep the habit in later years.

Carring Your Child Safely on a Bike
Never carry a baby under age one on a bicycle. A baby does not have the neck strength to wear a helmet. Her back is not strong enough to sit straight with the motion of the bike.

When a child is old enough to ride on an adult's bike, only a skilled rider should carry him. Ride only in safe areas like parks, bike paths, or quiet streets.

Make sure both adult and child wear properly fitting helmets.

Make sure the child carrier has a high back, a lap and shoulder harness, and foot guards to keep feet away from the spokes.

Check that the carrier is fastened firmly to the bike.

Buckle the harness snugly around the child.

For Parents and Teachers
Before you let your child use a bike, check these items. If your not sure whether a bike fits or works right, take it to a bike shop.

Frame Height
Check that your child’s bike is not too tall or too short. Have your child stand with the bike between their legs with feet flat on the ground, just in front of the seat. For the horizontal top tube, there should be one to three inches between the tube and the child’s crotch. If the tube’s not horizontal, tie string to where the top tubes meets the front of the bike. Hold it horizontally to make the measurement.

Seat Height
Ask your child if the seat feel too high or too low. If they are not sure, have them sit on the bike with feet on the pedals. With one pedal in the six-o’clock position, their knee should be only slightly bent. But if they are used to a lower seat height, do not raise it too much at once.

How to Change the Height?
Loosen the seat post nut. Twist the seat to move it. Do not raise it so high that there is less than two inches of the seat post inside the frame.

Coaster Brakes
If your child can pedal backward to apply the rear brakes, the bike has coaster brakes.
To Check Them:
While pushing the bike forward with one hand, use your other hand to pedal backward. This should stop the brake.

Hand Brakes
While pushing the bike forward with one hand, use your other hand to squeeze the brake lever. You should be able to stop the bike without squeezing the lever all the way to the handlebar.


Hold the front wheel between your legs. Using moderate pressure, try to turn the handlebars without moving the wheel. If you can turn the handlebars, tighten the stem bolt, using either an all wrench or crescent wrench.

Student Bicycling in Baton Rouge

Louisiana State University
Team Mountain Bike is a club that advocates cycling in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana. This club is dedicated to promoting cycling from the grass roots level up. All skill levels of rider are welcomed to attend their meetings and learn a little about bicycle mechanics and riding technique. They have scheduled camping trips, road trips, races, mtb rides, and many things outdoors that may not involve a bicycle.